Virtual Selling in the World of COVID

December 27, 2021

COVID has caused a ripple effect of changes throughout the world, leaving little to remain unaffected. In the business world, the path of change has been brutal on salespeople and it is important to react appropriately. This means becoming a lot better at virtual selling.

This entire situation is quite unique, which means it calls for an innovative response. Adapting to this rapidly changing business landscape with a lot of hesitation could really set you back. It is truly the time to embrace change. 

Virtual selling is one thing, but virtual selling in extremely unprecedented times has especially unique considerations and challenges. Take these tips along with you as you navigate the virtual world of sales during COVID:

Expect the Unexpected

This is one of those situations where relying on what you know will probably not be very beneficial. It is not the time to necessarily throw out all of the old rules, but you should reevaluate old techniques and audit their effectiveness for the current sales climate. Some sales skills are much tougher to execute. 

When selling to companies, expect the unexpected. Don’t be surprised if virtual communication leads to significant changes in the overall selling process. Don’t assume that your client’s company will flourish in Spring-like it has in years past. Everyone is adapting, so “business as usual” might not hold true as we push through 2021.

Check Your Surroundings

An experienced driver must always be intensely aware of their surroundings. Likewise, salespeople must always be dependable as an expert for their clients and their clients’ industry. Even if a salesperson has been working with a buyer for an extensive period of time, and has subsequently become very knowledgeable about them, they must be committed to staying informed. This is WAY more important when selling virtually.

This means salespeople need to stay updated with how the pandemic has specifically impacted their clients’ businesses. Some companies have been forced to abruptly lay people off, while other companies are experiencing tremendous growth like never before. 

This is an important reminder to hone your research skills to be sure you truly know your clients. Maintaining this thirst for updated information will allow you to adjust your virtual selling strategies accordingly. 

Be an Ally 

Many companies are experiencing shifts in terms of actual business models. For example, retailers are finding ways to help clients shop virtually instead of in-store. Companies are learning how to create a version of their product or an entirely new product that will be in demand in the current climate.

As a salesperson, you should use this as an opportunity to emphasize your role as a support system to your clients. This could be a test of your durability as an adaptable salesperson. Use this time to prove your sales skills and to convince the buyer that your product/service is valuable during major changes and beyond the current situation.

Virtual sales are here to stay. Many of our clients have found this niche fits for them and their employees working from home. It will remain an essential way to conduct business for many years to come. Sell in a way that shows how your product or service will be useful now and in any of your prospect’s new endeavors. Succeeding as a salesperson through trying times will help you build an overall stronger connection with the buyer.


- John Asher, author of The Future of Sales

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